By Jane Dummer, RD
The saying, “Good things come in small packages,” is certainly the case when it comes to hemp seeds. They are one of the seven seeds I feature in my book, The Need for Seeds: How to Make Seeds an Everyday Food in Your Healthy Diet. Canadian farmers have been growing hemp since 1998 after a half century’s absence. These small seeds with a slightly nutty taste and chewy, creamy texture pack an outstanding nutritional punch. But there is repeatedly one question…
Can I get high from hemp seeds?
Often, people have this burning question. The answer is, “No!” It’s not possible due to its low delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. While both hemp and marijuana come from the same Cannabis Sativa plant, it’s important to note that hemp is a specialized variety bred to produce low amounts (less than 0.3%) of THC, the ingredient which has psychoactive effects in marijuana.
Hemp Seed Nutrition
Any food that will boost my brain function is on my grocery list! Although hemp seeds don’t make you high, they definitely have the potential to contribute to cognitive health. Plus, they act as an anti-inflammatory which is a factor in decreasing the risk for many chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
- Protein: Hemp seeds, like quinoa, contain all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete plant-based protein important for immune, bone and fitness health.
- Fat: They have a unique essential omega-6 fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, plus hormone synthesis and balance. Hemp seeds’ omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 3.75:1 is ideal for overall wellbeing and brain health.
- Fibre: Hemp seeds are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fibre, important for digestive and heart health.
- Micronutrients: They are rich in several vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E, phosphorous, potassium,magnesium, iron and zinc.
Sprinkle, Mix, Add and Bake
Hemp seeds and protein powder have become a favourite of mine for my on-the-go lifestyle, especially when I’m on-the-go.
- Sprinkle them into oatmeal, slow cooked barley, or cold cereal for breakfast.
- Mix the seeds into salads and stir-fries.
- After my power walks, I love adding hemp protein powder to a smoothie.
- Have you ever baked with hemp seeds or protein powder? It’s an excellent way to punch up the fibre and protein content in breads, muffins and bars. A substitute rate of about 25% of the recipe’s flour with hemp protein powder works well for most recipes.
Blueberry Mango Hemp Seed Smoothie
This is a recipe from my book and when I have a busy, early morning, it’s a delicious go-to breakfast. I can whip it up in two minutes and enjoy a quick breakfast at home or put it in a travel mug for an energized start to my day.
Makes 2 Servings
3 Tbsp (45 mL) hemp seeds
½ cup (125 mL) fresh or frozen blueberries
½ cup (125 mL) chopped fresh or frozen cubed mango
¼ cup (60 mL) plain 2% Greek yogurt
¼ cup (60 mL) cranberry juice
¼ cup (60 mL) almonds
A few ice cubes (if using fresh fruit)
In a blender, combine hemp seeds, blueberries, mango, yogurt, cranberry juice and almonds. Blend on high until creamy and smooth. You can add more cranberry juice or water to achieve your desired consistency. Pour into a large glass or travel mug with ice cubes, if desired.